Yahoo Fantasy Baseball: Waiver wire best practices

With so many fantasy baseball teams to my name, I regularly navigate the waiver wire on a wide variety of websites. And in all honesty, I find player searches on the Yahoo wire to be as good as that of any platform. Here is my process for finding a free agent gem in the Yahoo system.

To be clear, I do ALL of these sorts before choosing someone to add.

When I need a hitter

1. Sort by at-bats in the past seven days. In mixed leagues, rostered players should be in the lineup most days.

2. Sort by hits in the past seven days. Sometimes a name will show up near the top of the hits list but not the at-bat list, which means that the player has been hitting very well of late.

3. Sort by steals in the past seven days. With the scarcity of steals across baseball, I give attention to anyone who has multiple swipes across a seven-day stretch.

4. Sort by homers in the past seven days. Homers tend to be memorable moments and could earn a player more playing time. Any player who has gone deep twice in a week deserves some level of consideration.

5. Sort by roster percentage. I’m not going to let the masses run my team, but I also respect their opinion. Also, sorting by roster percentage is a good way to find commonly-rostered players who may have been recently dropped because of an injury or slump.

6. Sort by recent roster additions. Again, I’m not running my team to copy everyone else. But players who have been recently added in thousands of leagues have obviously done something right.

7. Sort by overall ranking this season. At this point, I need to take a step back from the players who have excelled recently and take stock of the entire season. Players who have produced over the long haul may be the best options, even if they haven’t turned heads of late.

8. Sort by steals and homers for the full season. Again, I’m looking for players who make game-changing plays. Anyone who sits near the top of the long ball and swipes lists has plenty of potential to get onto my roster.

When I need a pitcher

1. Sort by strikeouts in the past seven days. You’ll see innings pitched on this list, but innings aren’t a fantasy category. First and foremost, I’m looking for pitchers who are dominating the opposition, and strikeouts are a great way to find dominant hurlers.

2. Sort by saves in the past seven days. The importance of this category obviously depends on my league format and size, but I want to consider any reliever who has slid into a closer role.

3. Sort by innings pitched in the past seven days. To be clear, I’m not looking for pitchers who rack up innings. And, I know that hurlers who started twice in the past seven days will be at the top of this list. But to consider virtually every starter, I will conduct this sort and then assess everyone who has accumulated at least five innings.

4. Sort by roster percentage. Similar to my comment on hitters, I don’t want to miss out on a desirable pitcher who was recently dropped but may not have had any success of late.

5. Sort by recent roster additions. I will generally ignore everyone with a green checkmark, as they have been added solely as streaming options. But I’ll look at the other hurlers on the most-added list.

6. Sort by overall ranking for the season. Similar to roster percentage, this sort allows me to step away from recency bias and consider pitchers who have been good overall this year but not of late.

7. Sort by strikeouts for the season. Lastly, I’ll take a look at pitchers who have been racking up whiffs but may not have had success at limiting runs.

And one more thing …

Hopefully, you read all the way to the bottom, because I have one more important tip to share. At times, the sorting process will lead me to an obvious choice, but I often wind up with 2-3 players who stand out as options. To sort between those players, I look at their advanced stats, such as K:BB ratio, HR/FB ratio, BABIP, etc. Those stats can be accessed on multiple sites, including in one convenient location on the Yahoo+ Advanced Stats page.

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